Thursday, May 21, 2020

The house is black

There is no shortage of ugliness in the world.
If man closed his eyes to it, there would be even more.
But man is a problem solver.
On this screen will appear an image of ugliness…
a vision of pain no caring human being should ignore.
To wipe out this ugliness and to relieve the victims…
is the motive of this film and the hope of its makers.
I thank you, God…
for creating me,
I thank you, God…
for creating my caring mother, my […] father
I thank you, God for […]ng the flowing water and the fruiting trees.
I thank you for giving me hands to work with
I thank you for giving me eyes…
to see the marvels of this world.
I thank you for giving me ears
to enjoy beautiful songs.
I thank you for giving me feet…
to go wherever I will.
Who is this in hell praising you, O Lord?
Who is this in hell?
I will sing your name, O Lord
I will sing your name with the ten-string lute.
For I have been made in a strange and frightening shape.
My bones were not hidden from you when I was being created,
I was molded in the bowels of the earth.
In your book all my party have been written…
and your eyes, O Lord, have seen my fetus.
I won’t see the spring.
These lines are all that will remain.
As the heavens circles, I fell into the bedlam.
I’m gone.
My heart is filled with sorrow.
O Muslims, I am sad tonight.
Leprosy is chronic and contagious.
Leprosy is not hereditary,
Leprosy can be anywhere or everywhere
Leprosy goes with poverty
Upon attacking the body
It deepens and enlarges wrinkles…
eats away the tissues, covers the nerves with a dry shield,
dulls sensitivity to heat and touch,
causes blindness,
destroys the nasal septum,
it finds its way to the liver and bone marrow,
withers the fingers,
it clears the way for other diseases.
Leprosy is not incurable.
Taking care of lepers stops the disease from spreading.
Wherever lepers have been adequately cared for…
the disease has vanished.
When the leper is cared for early he can be treated completely
Leprosy is not incurable
God is the Greatest. O God, the Great Lord,
the Generous, thou bestow thy kindness on our supplication.
thou art the Supreme over men and ghosts. In the name of God…
the Clement, the Caring. In the name of God and from God and by God.
I submit my being to you, O God, and turn my face towards…
thine and leave my affairs to thy command. I leave my fate between…
Your hands, my left and my right, my north and my south,
my sides and my destiny. All to thy command and power
as there is no turning and no power. except from God,
I said if I had wings of a dove…
I would fly away and be at rest.
I would go far away and take refuge in the desert.
I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.
For I have seen misery and wickedness on earth.
The universe is pregnant with inertia
and has given birth to time.
Where would I escape from your face?
And where would I go from your presence?
If I hang on to the wings of the morning breeze
And reside in the deep of the sea,
Your hand will still weigh on me.
You have made me drunk with indecision.
How awesome are your deeds!
How awesome are your deeds!
I speak of the bitterness of my soul.
I speak of the bitterness of my soul.
When I was silent, my life was rotting
from my silent screams all day long.
Remember that my life is wind.
I have become the pelican of the desert,
the owl of the ruins,
and like a sparrow, I am sitting alone on the roof.
I am poured out like water…
as those who have long been dead. 
On my eyelids is the shadow of death. 
Leave me, leave me, for my days are but a breath.
Leave me before I set out for the land of no return,
the land of infinite darkness.
O God, don’t entrust the life of your dove to the wild beast.
O God, remember my life is wind…
and you have given me a time of idleness,
and around me the song of happiness,
the sound of the windmill, and the brightness…
of the light have vanished
Lucky are those who are harvesting now,
and their hands are picking sheaves of wheat.
Let’s listen to the soul who sings in the remote desert.
The one who sighs and stretches his hands out saying,
“Alas, my wounds have numbed my spirit.“
O, the time-forgotten one,
dressing yoourself [sic] in red, and wearing golden ornaments,
anointing your eyes with kohl,
remember you have made yourself beautiful in vain,
for a song in the remote desert,
and your friends who have denigrated you
Alas, for the day is fading, the evening shadows are stretching.
Our being, like a cage full of birds,
is filled with moans of captivity.
And none among us knows how long he will last.
The harvest season passed, the summer season came to an end,
and we did not find deliverance.
Like doves we cry for justice… and there is none.

We wait for light and darkness reigns.
Venus. Sometimes at twilight we see a bright star.
The name of it is Venus.
Venus is very bright.
The planet Venus is very close to us.
The planet of Venus doesn’t twinkle.
Why should we thank God for having a father and mother?
You answer.
I don’t know, I have neither.
You name a few beautiful things.
The moon, the sun, flowers, playtime.
And you, name a few ugly things.
Write a sentence with the word “house“ in it.
The house is black.
O overruning river driven by the force of love,
flow to us, flow to us.

Made in fall 1962 for the Society For Assisting Lepers by Gulistan Film Co
Cinematography: Soleyman Minasian
Sound: Mahmud Hangval & Samad Poorkamali
Assistants: Herand Minasian & Amir Karrari
Produced by Ebrahim Gulistan
Edited and directed by Forough Farrokhzad

Forough Farrokhzad (29 December 1934 – 13 February 1967)


  1. Replies
    1. For me it is one of the most moving documentaries I ever watched, which is why I do it relatively often.
      I wish more people would watch it.
      Sometimes it takes a while, but as soon as I am coming to think of certain seconds in this film, I am smiling / feel ashamed ... about my narrow mind.

    2. Still... a mind opened to wide will let anything in.

    3. I should have said too wide, pedantically (obviously)

    4. Hm, not sure if I get this right, Andrew.
      There is following phrase in German: Wer nach Seiten offen ist, kann nicht ganz dicht sein.
      I like it!!
      And: I think one could not open one's mind too wide. I do agree, though, one could come to wrong/ strange conclusions.
      As for me, though opened relatively wide, I would not let anything in. Hopefully. ;-)

    5. And I am not sure if I get anything right. I know nothing. I am an idiot (Obv...).

    6. No, no, no! I hope I did not write any rubbish.
      Did you watch the complete 21 minutes, Andrew?
      You are no (stupid) idiot, anway! Believe my donkey: "A man and a donkey do know more than a man.

    7. It's not the 21 minutes, it's the "God" and the "Lord", Such things there may be, but I do doubt they care about us any more than the farmer who is fattening cattle to slaughter in the field at the bottom of my garden.

    8. I might be wrong, but I like my interpretation: the praise of God / Allah is meant "con grano salis".
      To put it clearly: a) God would give a fuck, if s/he could, but s/he can't. b) As there is no God there can't exist blasphemy.

    9. Ah, but there may well be, she/he, and she/he/they may well give a fuck; but not about us (rather obviously, the evidence suggests).

    10. The French stout asks me to striking sails / giving in. ;-)
      Good night, dear friend. As almost always, when reading your words, I understand why I am riding a donkey.

    11. However, you should not give credence to anything that I say. I am an ape, for goodness sake!

    12. Don't say so, noble Don.
      Perhaps – not to write probably, let alone obviously – we are privileged. You and I "know" and have accepted we are apes; other contemporaries have not yet made that quantum leap ... obviously. ;-)